A new poll conducted by Gallup found that 13 percent of Americans believe racism is the country’s most important problem, up from just 1 percent in November. It’s the highest that number has been since the Rodney King verdict in 1992.
The sharp rise follows national outrage and a wave of protests that swept the nation in response to the failure by two separate grand juries to indict two white officers who killed two black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. [Read more]
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From the dingy donut shops of Manhattan to the cloistered police watering holes in Brooklyn, a number of black NYPD officers say they have experienced the same racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life.
Garner, a 43-year-old black man suspected of illegally peddling loose cigarettes, died in July after a white officer put him in a chokehold. His death, and that of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a slew of nationwide protests against police tactics. On Saturday, those tensions escalated after a black gunman, who wrote of avenging the black deaths on social media, shot dead two New York policemen. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-126 – Michael’s Blog
The grand jury witness who testified that she saw Michael Brown pummel a cop before charging at him “like a football player, head down,” is a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a “complete fabrication,” The Smoking Gun has learned.
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors–as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson–the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account of the fatal encounter in Ferguson. [Read more]
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Tired of the Bill of Rights? Cleveland police union chief Jeffrey Follmer has an elegant alternative:
How ‘bout this? Listen to police officers’ commands. Listen to what we tell you, and just stop. That eliminates a lot of problems…The nation needs to realize, when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and if you’re right, the courts will figure it out.
Got it? Simple.
Follmer is demanding an apology from the Cleveland Browns’ Andrew Hawkins, who wore a “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford” shirt on Sunday. He laid out his authoritarian solution to the epidemic of cops killing unarmed black men in an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber Monday night. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-118 – Michael’s Blog
Growth and progress could be this nation’s reward for facing the challenge of our times with courage and a demand for equal justice. The American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the civil-rights movement of the 1960s were moments when the United States could have been torn from its very foundation, but a creative response to this turmoil helped move the nation forward.
At its best, non-violent protest is a strategically engineered crisis designed to wake up a sleeping nation, to educate and sensitize those who become awakened, and to ignite a sense of righteous indignation in people of goodwill to press for transformation. That’s what the protests galvanized by the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and others are trying to accomplish. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-10W – Michael’s Blog
After Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins wore a shirt calling for justice for two black Ohioans recently killed by police onto the field before Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the head of Cleveland’s police union called him “pathetic” and demanded an apology.
But when Hawkins addressed the media on Monday, he didn’t apologize. Instead, he delivered an impassioned speech defending his decision to wear the shirt and explaining why it was so important for him to do so.
Hawkins, who added himself to a growing list of athletes who have worn shirts or spoken out on recent police killings of black men, started with his thoughts on justice and the idea that he should apologize to offended police officers: [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-10Q – Michael’s Blog
Talk show host and activist Montel William tried without success on Monday to get a group of Fox News hosts to have an honest discussion about why race was at the heart the protests over the recent killings of black men by police.
Out Numbered began its Monday coverage of the protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York City Police officer who killed Eric Garner by showing white rioters in Berkeley, California, followed by a video clip of President Barack Obama talking about racism within the law enforcement community. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-10w – Michael’s Blog
Demonstrators took to New York streets for a second night of protests on Thursday after a grand jury decided on Wednesday not to indict a New York Police Department officer for the choking death of Eric Garner in Staten Island.
The protests weren’t isolated to New York alone. Just as protesters took to major highways across America late in November following the grand jury decision in Ferguson, thousands of people once again shut down roads in Chicago, Atlanta, and Boston. The demonstrations reached smaller cities, too, including Albany, Savannah, Indianapolis, Wilmington, Asheville, and many more. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-10k – Michael’s Blog
I suppose there is no longer much point in debating the facts surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown. First, because Officer Darren Wilson has been cleared by a grand jury, and even the collective brilliance of a thousand bloggers pointing out the glaring inconsistencies in his version of events that August day won’t result in a different outcome. And second, because Wilson’s guilt or innocence was always somewhat secondary to the larger issue: namely, the issue of this gigantic national inkblot staring us in the face, and what we see when we look at it—and more to the point, why?
Because it is a kind of racial Rorschach (is it not?) into which each of these cases—not just Brown but all the others, from Trayvon Martin to Sean Bell to Patrick Dorismond to Aswan Watson and beyond—inevitably and without fail morph. That we see such different things when we look upon them must mean something. That so much of white America cannot see the shapes made out so clearly by most of black America cannot be a mere coincidence, nor is it likely an inherent defect in our vision. Rather, it is a socially-constructed astigmatism that blinds so many to the way in which black folks often experience law enforcement. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Zl – Michael’s Blog
A new exhibition seeks to tell the story of Lebanese of African and Asian heritage as well as tackle racism in Lebanon.
The “Mixed Feelings” exhibition, the brainchild of Lebanese Nigerian researcher and activist Nisreen Kaj and Polish photographer and artist Marta Bogdanska, has involved several key members of Lebanon’s civil society as well as several NGOs in highlighting the oft-ignored daily realities of Lebanese of African or Asian heritage as well as migrant workers who work in Lebanon. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Sy – Michael’s Blog